Islamabad: Pakistan Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, while disposing a petition, has said there is no requirement for special legislation regarding the protection of the rights of minorities, as Article 20 of the Constitution already protects minorities in the country.
The Pakistan Hindu Council filed a petition to request for a special law to protect the rights of Hindus in Pakistan, who are being forced to convert to Islam, reports The Express Tribune.
According to Article 20, (a) every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice and propagate his religion; and (b) every religious denomination and every sect thereof shall have the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions, Chief Justice Chaudhry said.
Akram Sheikh, counsel for the Pakistan Hindu Council, stated that incidents of forced religious conversion are on the rise in rural areas, therefore a law to prevent such incidents should be passed, as it is a matter of fundamental rights.
Reacting to Sheikh`s argument, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja reiterated that Article 20 already protects the rights of minorities.